Types of Claims
Accidents on the roads, whether you are a pedestrian, a driver, a passenger or a cyclist.
Accidents on Public Property
Any type of accident or injury in a public place.
Slips and Trips
Any slips of falls. These may be on a public street, in a shop or any other premises.
Injuries you sustain whilst at work – eg on a building site, stress at a desk job or any other injuries whilst in employment.
Injuries whilst abroad or whilst holidaying in Ireland
Injuries caused by exposure to Asbestos
Injuries caused by the professional negligence of any medical staff in a hospital, clinic, surgery, dentists or elsewhere
Claims for compensation when you have been unfairly dismissed from your employment
There are various types of civil claims that you may take to court. We are concerned with cases involving accidental injury. Many cases do not get to court because they are settled in advance. If your case does go to court and you are unhappy with the outcome, you can appeal the decision.
Time Limits for Actions
Under the Civil Liability & Courts Act 2004 a personal injuries claim must be commenced within two years from 31st March 2005. It is important to note that you cannot pursue a personal injuries action throuth the courts without first submitting your claim to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board.
Types of courts?
If you have been injured in an accident, the value of your case will be assessed by your solicitors by considering doctors’ reports about the extent of your injuries and what may happen in the future. .
The seriousness of your injury will decide whether your case is heard in the District Court, the Circuit Court or the High Court.
The District Court has power to award up to approx €6,500 euro in damages. The Circuit Court has power to award up to approx €38,000 in damages. The High Court has unlimited power to award damages.
General Rules for Proving Fault in Accidents
If you are injured through the carelessness or neglect of another person then that person is liable to pay you damages for the injury you have suffered.
Liability revolves around the simple fact that most accidents happen because someone was careless — or “negligent.”
Legal liability for almost all accidents is determined by this rule, and by one or more of the following simple ideas:
- If a negligent person causes an accident while working for someone else, the employer will usually be responsible for the accident.
- If the injured person was where he or she was not supposed to be, or somewhere he or she should have expected the kind of activity which caused the accident, the person who caused the accident might not be liable.
- If an accident is caused by a defective product, the manufacturer and seller of the product may both liable.
- If the injured person was also careless, his or her compensation may be reduced by the extent such carelessness was responsible for the accident. This is known as contributory negligence.
- If an accident is caused on property that is dangerous because it is poorly built or maintained, the owner of the property is liable for being careless in maintaining the property.
What exactly is negligence
The law of negligence governs the responsibility of persons for injuries suffered in accidents by others. To establish negligence, three key features must exist (1) a duty of care must exist between the person injured and the person responsible for that injury; (2) conduct of the defendant fell short of that duty of care; and (3) The failure to take adequate care must result in a loss or injury.
Injuries Board (Formally PIAB)
The injurious board was established in 2004 by the government under an act which provides that all claims involving an injury must be submitted to the board for assessment.
The assessment is made on the basis of documents sent by us to the board. The documents will include at least one medical report and a statement of your out of pocket expenses.
There is no obligation on the negligent party to engage in the assessment process and the assessment itself is not binding on either party.
If either party rejects the assessment the case proceeds in the normal way leading to a settlement after negotiation or a hearing in court if it has not been possible to settle the case.
What they do
They assess the amount of compensation due to an injured party. They deliver compensation without the legal costs and experts fees that add more than 46% on average to the cost of a claim.
They reduce the amount of time it takes to finalise a compensation claim. Under the court system it can take approximately three years to settle a claim. It generally takes nine months to settle a personal injury claim via InjuriesBoard.ie.
The InjuriesBoard Application
An application can be made to InjuriesBoard in accordance with Section 46 of the InjuriesBoard Act. The application is made by way of a Form A, which is available to download from the InjuriesBoard website. The form must be returned to InjuriesBoard with a fee of €50.00 imposed on the Claimant by InjuriesBoard . The Application Form must be accompanied by a Letter of Claim (as specified under Section 8 of the 2004 Act); copies of correspondence relating to the claim; a medical report; and any documentation which InjuriesBoard considers relevant.
The official date of the making of an application under Section 11 of the InjuriesBoard Act (which is the date on which the clock stops for the Statute of Limitations) is the date on which the fully completed Form A and the information required by InjuriesBoard under Section 11 of the Act, is acknowledged in writing as having been received by InjuriesBoard.
The InjuriesBoard Process
Once InjuriesBoard acknowledges receipt of Form A and the accompanying documentation, PIAB will notify the Respondent. The Respondent has ninety days from the issue of a formal Section 13 Notice of Application to respond to InjuriesBoard in writing, stating that it does not consent to an assessment being made. It will cost a Respondent €850.00 to participate in the InjuriesBoard process. If the Respondent does not respond in writing to the notice within ninety days, PIAB will proceed with the assessment as if the Respondent had consented. It is important to note that under Section 16 of the InjuriesBoard Act, a Respondent consenting to assessment, or failing to reply to the notification of assessment from InjuriesBoard , does not constitute an admission of liability and cannot be used in evidence in a court case.
If the Respondent agrees to an assessment by InjuriesBoard , InjuriesBoard will assess compensation to be paid to the Claimant for pain and suffering in accordance with the Book of Quantum. There is no oral hearing. The Book of Quantum contains a guideline of injuries and their related values.
InjuriesBoard must make the assessment within a period of nine months, which can be extended to fifteen months, and the Claimant and the Respondent are informed of the amount of the assessment after the expiration of that time.
What’s my claim worth?
If your claim is successful, you will be awarded compensation. Such awards are intended to put you in the same financial position in which you would have been had your accident not occurred.
Damages are assessed under various categories which include dmages for pain, suffering and loss of quality of life.This type of damages are often called “general damages” and is the compensation that you receive for the actual injuries that you have sustained.
Damages for your financial losses
This type of compensation is also known as “special damages” and is compensation for all losses you have suffered or expenses that you have incurred because of your injury.
These will include:
- loss of earnings
- any private, medical or therapeutic expenses (e.g. physiotherapy)
- travelling expenses incurred by you and your relatives.
- damage to your motor vehicle or other items involved in the accident.
- cost of car hire.
- the value of care that is provided to you by your family, partner, or friends after you were discharged from hospital, to the date that your case is settled. This will take into account loss of earnings suffered by anyone who has provided care support for you.
Damages for future losses and expenses
Some people who have sustained serious injuries suffer long-term losses and expenses as a direct result of their injuries. Calculation of the actual sums involved is complicated, however, compensation will take into account some or all of the following:
- Future loss of earnings, including the loss of any promotion prospects
- Loss of pension rights
- Costs of providing all personal care support required in the future, even where it is likely that a relative will provide care on a voluntary basis
- Costs of a Case Manager, if this is necessary
- Damages representing the losses incurred if special accommodation is required including any extra domestic expenses
- Costs of physiotherapy and any other specialist therapeutic services
- Costs of any special aids and equipment including their annual maintenance and replacement costs.
Compensation may be available to the family members (including co-habitees) of anyone who is killed in an accident.